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Sarah Palin knows how old the Chinese gymnasts are.

calendar   Friday - December 30, 2005

New Years Resolutions

It’s that time again. Time to make promises you’ll never keep, that is. This is an open post. Give it your best shot, people. Tell us what your New Years Resolutions are or why you’re not making any. Personally, I resolve to be more resolute ... in a resolutionary way. Resolutely!

LOL


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 12/30/2005 at 10:28 AM   
Filed Under: • Fun-Stuff •  
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calendar   Thursday - December 29, 2005

New Years Trivia: Vietnam

The more popular name for the Vietnamese New Year is Tet, where as the formal name is Nguyen-dan. Tet is a very inportant festival because it provides one of the few breaks in the agricultural year, as it falls between the harvesting of the crops and the sowing of the new crops. The Vietnamese prepare well in advance for the New Year by cleaning their houses, polishing their copper and silverware and paying off all their debts.

They observe the custom of the kitchen god tao for a week before the New Year, they believe there are three gods represented by the three legs of the cooking equipment used in the kitchen. The middle god is a woman the other two are her husbands. It was once customary to provide the gods with a carp on which to travel. The carp represents the second last stage in the process by which animals are gradually transformed into dragons. They buy the carp from the market, bring it home and place it in a bucket of water to place at the altar of the house before it is later set free.

A special rice pudding is eaten at New Year which must be prepared beforehand. The rice pudding is known as banh chung ** or banh tet. The pudding contains mung beans and pork. New Year foods such as preserved sweets, beef, chicken, fish, oranges, coconuts, grapefruits and other seasonal fruits, especially watermelon. Watermelon is considered lucky because the flesh is red, so the choice of the melon must be taken carefully so as to find one rich in color. The seeds are often dyed red also and served as delicacies.

The last day of the year a plant such as the bamboo tree is planted in the courtyard of their homes. They decorate the tree with bells, flowers, and red streamers. The decorations are not for decorative purposes but are to guard the family against evil spirits. During the middle of the day an offering is placed on the altar of the household for the ancestor’s of the family. This is done every day thorughout the New Year Festival and along with that incense is burnt at the altar.

They believed in the custom of the first person through the door in the New Year will reflect the family’s future luck and wealth. On the first day of the new year they visit all their closest friends, teachers and their parents. The second day they visit their in-laws and other friends who are not as close. Third day they visit the family of their teacher and their more distant relatives.

On the fourth day the spirits return to heaven and business returns to normal. They also visit their local temple and they bring back flowers or greenery as a gift from the celestial spirits. This gift will be kept in the house all year.

** Vietnamese Rice Cake in Banana Leaf (Banh Chung) Recipe:


Place the sticky rice in a large bowl and cover with 3 inches of water. Stir in the food coloring, if using, and let the rice soak overnight. You should have about 4 cups of rice after soaking. In a separate bowl, soak the mung beans for at least 4 hours. Combine the shallots, fish sauce, black pepper and pork pieces and let marinate for 30 minutes.

Just before cooking, drain the rice and the beans and leave them in separate bowls. Add the salt to the rice and stir to blend. Heat the oil in a frying pan over moderate heat. Add the pork pieces and all the marinade and stir just until the meat is brown around the edges, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside. Using a steamer basket, steam the mung beans over simmering water until they’re soft, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

To make the packet, neatly lay down the wrappers in this order: one sheet of plastic wrap, the aluminum foil and two sheets of banana leaves (one perpendicular to the other). Place 1 cup of rice in the center of the banana leaf, spreading it over a 5-inch-square area. Place half of the mung beans on top then add the pork pieces. Cover again with the remaining mung beans and place 1 cup of rice on top.

Bring the narrow sides of the wrappers together. Fold the gathered edges over twice, then flatten against the packet. (You now have two open ends.) Fold one end over and hold the packet upright. Add half of the remaining rice, tapping it and pushing it down so the packet will be an even square. Fold the ends (like wrapping a gift box) and repeat on the other side.

Place the packet with the folded sides down in the center of the remaining plastic sheet. Wrap tightly so water will not seep into the packet during cooking. Tightly tie the packet with two parallel strings in both directions (as in a tic-tac-toe pattern). Fill a large stockpot with water. Add the packet and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a low simmer. Place a colander or something heavy to keep the packet submerged in the water. Cook, uncovered, for 4 hours, adding more water as necessary. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool for 1 hour.

To serve, cut the packet (without unwrapping) into 1/2-inch slices. Remove the wrapping and arrange the slices on a serving plate. Serve warm or at room temperature. If wrapped in plastic and refrigerated, the cake will keep for 1 week.

Source: An e-mail from some guy named Tranh An Vuong.


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Posted by Ronald Reagan's Ghost   United States  on 12/29/2005 at 10:18 AM   
Filed Under: • Fun-Stuff •  
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calendar   Wednesday - December 28, 2005

New Years Trivia: Scotland

imageimageThe Scottish New Year is known as Hogmanay and both New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day were also known as Daft Days. The first Monday in January is a holiday and is refered to as Handsel Monday. In Scotland New Year’s Eve is called Hogomanay or Night of the Candle. Food such as three cornered biscuits called hogmanays are eaten. Other foods that are special at this time of year are wine, cordials, cheese, bread, shortbread, oatcake, currant loaf and scones. After sunset people are known to collect juniper and water to purify the home.

The Scots prepare for the new year by cleaning their houses. This was believed to have been a purification ritual. They would perform a ritual of burning juniper branches which they carried throughout the house so as to remove any lurking germs and diseases. The food they would eat at New Year was Haggis **, shortbread, scones, oatmeal cakes, cheese, whisky and wine as well as traditional new year black buns.

The first person to rise in the morning used to take Het Pint, a spiced ale to those members who were still in bed. In Scotland an old tradition that still is relevant today is that of the first footer which is said, that whoever the first person to set foot into your home on New Year’s day decided the family’s luck for the rest of the year. This was based on the belief in the magic power of beginnings. The start of the new year controlled its future course.

The person most welcome on new year’s morning was a tall, dark haired man and especially if he bought a gift as this was considered magical as his handsome features would make the year a pleasant one and his gift of a loaf of bread, or a shovel of coal would ensure that there would be no lack of food or warmth in the household.

Any other type of person who was to set foot in your home on new year’s morning would spell disaster. Therefore people would subtly arrange for the right person to arrive. They would light bonfires so as to dispose of the old year and sometimes a straw figure known as “the Auld Wife” which represented the old year would be thrown onto the bonfire. One method used in the old days to remove evil spirits was to banish the evil to a cat or dog and scare them away.

On New Year’s Eve they all link arms in a circle and sing the traditional new year song Auld Lang Syne. After welcoming the new year, all the people of the household would wait to see who the first person to enter the house after midnight will be, as this person would indicate whether they would have good luck or bad luck for the coming year. The first person must be a dark haired male, young virile, good natured and prosperous. He should not be empty handed and was supposed to bring with him a small gift such as a piece of coal, bread, salt as they were symbols of life.

On New Year’s Day children from Scotland rise early to make the rounds to their neighbors singing songs. They are given coins, mince pies, apples and other sweets for singing. This must be done by noon or the singer will be called fools. In some Scottish villages barrels of tar are set on fire and rolled through the streets. This is done to burn up the old year and to allow the new year in.

** HAGGIS RECIPE:


Wash lungs and stomach well, rub with salt and rinse. Remove membranes and excess fat. Soak in cold salted water for several hours. Turn stomach inside out for stuffing.

Cover heart and liver with cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Chop heart and coarsely grate liver. Toast oatmeal in a skillet on top of the stove, stirring frequently, until golden. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Loosely pack mixture into stomach, about two-thirds full. Remember, oatmeal expands in cooking.

Press any air out of stomach and truss securely. Put into boiling water to cover. Simmer for 3 hours, uncovered, adding more water as needed to maintain water level. Prick stomach several times with a sharp needle when it begins to swell; this keeps the bag from bursting. Place on a hot platter, removing trussing strings. Serve with a spoon. Ceremoniously served with “neeps, tatties and nips”—mashed turnips, mashed potatoes, nips of whiskey (LOTS of whiskey!).

Sources: Article from Wikipedia, recipe from my grandmother.


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Posted by Ronald Reagan's Ghost   United States  on 12/28/2005 at 09:47 AM   
Filed Under: • Fun-Stuff •  
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calendar   Friday - December 23, 2005

Photo Du Jour

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“Red Alert”
-by-
NORAD

NORAD (North American Air Defense Command) is currently tracking a small object hovering above the North Pole. Officials warned the public not to be frightened. Geostationary satellites are tracking this mysterious object. As you can see from this latest satellite image the object is too small to make out but appears to be a tiny sleigh and eight tiny reindeer. Stay tuned ....


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 12/23/2005 at 04:48 PM   
Filed Under: • Fun-Stuff •  
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calendar   Friday - November 25, 2005

Why They All Get Prettier At Closing Time

Now we know. Einstein was wasting his time with all that quantum mechanics and relativity crap. The real hard-core science is being done today by scientists in Britain with a more important goal in mind .... figuring out why us guys have awakened to find a “coyote ugly” babe snoring next to us. It’s all in the science and here it comes. Do you think it’ll do any good, now that we know .... ?

imageimage‘Beer goggles’ Effect Explained
MANCHESTER - UK (BBC)

Scientists believe they have worked out a formula to calculate how “beer goggles” affect a drinker’s vision. The drink-fuelled phenomenon is said to transform supposedly “ugly” people into beauties - until the morning after.

Researchers at Manchester University say while beauty is in the eye of the beer-holder, the amount of alcohol consumed is not the only factor.

Additional factors include the level of light in the pub or club, the drinker’s own eyesight and the room’s smokiness. The distance between two people is also a factor. They all add up to make the aesthetically-challenged more attractive, according to the formula.

The formula can work out a final score, ranging from less than one - where there is no beer goggle effect - to more than 100. Nathan Efron, Professor of Clinical Optometry at the University of Manchester, said: “The beer goggles effect isn’t solely dependent on how much alcohol a person consumes, there are other influencing factors at play too.

“For example, someone with normal vision, who has consumed five pints of beer and views a person 1.5 metres away in a fairly smoky and poorly lit room, will score 55, which means they would suffer from a moderate beer goggle effect.” The research was commissioned by eyecare firm Bausch & Lomb PureVision. A poll showed that 68% of people had regretted giving their phone number to someone to whom they later realised they were not attracted.

A formula rating of less than one means no effect. Between one and 50 the person you would normally find unattractive appears less “visually offensive”. Non-appealing people become suddenly attractive between 51 and 100. At more than 100, someone not considered attractive looks like a super model.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 11/25/2005 at 01:13 PM   
Filed Under: • Fun-StuffScience-Technology •  
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calendar   Saturday - October 29, 2005

The Ultimate Man Toy

imageimageBeach Blanket Hummer
(AUTOWEEK)

General Motors’ future product plan includes a back-to-basics, go-anywhere Hummer H4—a rough-and-tough competitor for the Jeep Wrangler. The fourth Hummer could be on sale by 2008 or 2009. A GM source confirms the company is looking for ways of making a small Hummer on its various sport/utility vehicle and pickup platforms.

GM engineers and designers are working on the project, but a chassis for the vehicle has yet to be selected. One possibility is a two-seater, focused on the most rugged off-roading possible, similar to the Hummer dune buggy we illustrated earlier this year (“A Hummer Buggy,” May 9).

“It’s a matter of finding the right combination of rugged components and how we can package them into a vehicle smaller than the H3,” says the source. “The main design factor is that any vehicle with a Hummer badge has to be the most capable off-road, period.” One possibility is to use a shortened version of GM’s small pickup platform, which underpins the new H3.

GM product czar Bob Lutz is believed to be a big supporter of the H4, and as a former boss of Jeep he knows the competition intimately. Hummer is also unlikely to launch a second range of soft-roaders, a move that Jeep is taking to exploit sales with owners who don’t need its “Trail Tested” off-road abilities. “It’s not the right time to be rounding off the corners of the Hummer range yet,” our source says.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 10/29/2005 at 09:05 AM   
Filed Under: • Fun-Stuff •  
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calendar   Sunday - October 23, 2005

Matchmaker

For your amusement on this beautiful Fall Sunday, I have provided below a matchmaker game. It’s easy and anyone can do it. Just match the name of the person on the left with the most appropriate person on the right. There are an even dozen “couples” below. Make sure each two you match have a lot in common. Answers will be in the comments later today. Ready ... Set ... Go!


A. John F. Kerry1. Anna Nichole Smith
B. Teddy Kennedy2. Roseanne Barr
C. Hillary Clinton3. Adolph Hitler
D. Bill Clinton4. Linda Lovelace
E. Howard Dean5. Jeanene Garofolo
F. Arianna Huffington6. Daffy Duck
G. Osama Bin Laden7. Al Capone
H. Fidel Castro8. Joseph Stalin
I. Jimmy Carter9. Butthead (Beavis’ friend)
J. Dan Rather10. Norman Bates
K. Cindy Sheehan11. Jerry Springer
L. Jacques Chirac12. Yassir Arafat


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 10/23/2005 at 12:50 PM   
Filed Under: • Fun-StuffStoopid-People •  
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calendar   Saturday - October 22, 2005

HELP!

I have just spent four hours with this ”productivity enhancer” and can’t solve it to save my life! I need help before I go stark raving insane. I suspect this is an Al-Qaeda trick or perhaps a devious plot by Democrats. We must not let the enemy prevail! Help me out here! Figure out how to beat this evil game and ... and ... I’ll come up with a suitable prize later (perhaps a suitable title like BMEWS First Mate will be bestowed upon the lucky winner?) ....

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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 10/22/2005 at 01:54 PM   
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calendar   Saturday - October 15, 2005

Tata News Update

Let it not be said that BMEWS ever let a week go by without running at least one post about tatas ....

Coming Soon: The Mp3 Breast Implant
(THE REGISTER - UK)

Here’s an appealing thought: an mp3 breast implant which will allow surgically-enhanced girls to store and play back their entire music collections from their 36DD assets.

We kid you not. According to UK tabloid the Sun - ever watchful for life-enhancing technology, especially when it’s got a big jugs angle - BT Laboratories bod Ian Pearson reckons breast implants may as well do something useful if they’re to be permanently installed, rather than just looking decorative.

Accordingly, he’s proposed sticking an mp3 player in one dug, and a storage chip in the other. Quite how playback is achieved we’re not quite sure*, but it may well involve the listener burying his or her head in the cleavage for a full stereo effect.

Likewise, God alone knows how you select tracks, but breasts do come equipped with a pleasing alternative to the iPod’s selector wheel. We can imagine the scenario: Girlfriend: “Oi, what the bloody hell are you doing?” Boyfriend: “Hold on, I’m just scrolling down to Stairway to Heaven.”

* Footnote: Oh, OK then - Ian Pearson said “flexible plastic electronics would sit inside the breast. A signal would be relayed to headphones, while the device would be controlled by Bluetooth using a panel on the wrist”. We prefer our solutions, naturally.

I know it’s a silly question but how do you “upload” new tunes to the player? Will some sort of USB port be made available on your girlfriend’s bod where new tunes can be “inserted”? Use your imagination in the comments ...


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 10/15/2005 at 12:06 PM   
Filed Under: • Fun-Stuff •  
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Mystery Girl

Below is an early picture of the woman I am deeply, madly in love with. This is a picture of her as a teenager. She is a bit older and much prettier nowadays. Can you guess who this little teenage girl grew up to be? If you guess correctly, could you please tell her I want to have her baby ....

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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 10/15/2005 at 09:32 AM   
Filed Under: • Fun-Stuff •  
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calendar   Thursday - September 29, 2005

Riddle Me This

I’m currently suffering from an intestinal infection and am stoked up on antibiotics and pain-killers. It’s been gradually wearing me down for the last few days and I finally gave up and saw my doc yesterday. It’ll get better now that I’m taking care of it. I plan to spend a lot of time today sleeping under the influence of good drugs (legal, prescribed ones that is). For your amusement, I present the picture below. Your job is to guess what it is. This is an Open Forum Post so feel free to discuss whatever comes to your mind. I will leave it to Oink to direct traffic ....

What Is This?

image


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 09/29/2005 at 09:55 AM   
Filed Under: • Fun-StuffPersonal •  
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calendar   Saturday - September 17, 2005

Man Toy!

Guys, your man-toy awaits you .... provided you have Bill Gates’ checkbook ....

Model: Bugatti Veyron
Manufacturer: Volkswagen
Top Speed: 252 mph
Engine: 16-cylinder
Horsepower: 1000 hp
0 - 60 Time: 3 seconds
Price Tag: $1.3 million
Bragging Value: Priceless

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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 09/17/2005 at 08:09 AM   
Filed Under: • Fun-Stuff •  
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DISCLAIMER
Allanspacer

THE SERVICES AND MATERIALS ON THIS WEBSITE ARE PROVIDED "AS IS" AND THE HOSTS OF THIS SITE EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ANY AND ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO WARRANTIES OF SATISFACTORY QUALITY, MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, WITH RESPECT TO THE SERVICE OR ANY MATERIALS.

Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
  1. Keep a firm grasp of Right and Wrong
  2. Stay involved with government on every level and don't let those bastards get away with a thing
  3. Use every legal means to defend yourself in the event of real internal trouble, and, most importantly:
  4. Keep talking to each other, whether here or elsewhere
It's been a long strange trip without you Skipper, but thanks for pointing us in the right direction and giving us a swift kick in the behind to get us going. Keep lookin' down on us, will ya? Thanks.

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Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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